Helene Simon, also Henriette Simon, (born September 16, 1862 in Düsseldorf; died December 8, 1947 in London) was a German sociologist and co-founder of the Workers' Welfare.
Helene Simon was a daughter of the Düsseldorf banker Jacob Simon and Amalie Gompertz and grew up at a time when daughters were intended for marriage or for the management of the household in the parental family. As a result, she lived with her parents until she was 34. When they moved from Cologne to Karlsruhe, in 1896 she took the chance to go to England to practice sociological studies, even if only for one year. She formed a lifelong friendship with Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb in London and became a member of their Fabian Society. In 1897, together with Elisabeth Gnauck-Kühne, she was admitted as a guest listener to national economics lectures with Gustav Schmoller at the University of Berlin, but could not aspire to a formal degree and remained basically an autodidact and private scholar. Around 1898, in Schwelm,Westphalia, where her sister Elise Meyer had married, she investigated the grievances of the local textile industry. She drew attention to the work of women and children, excessive working hours and lack of health care in the article "Die Bandwirker in und um Schwelm" (Magazine "Social Practice", year 8, 1898/1899). From 1919 she lived again for a few years in Schwelm. In the years up to 1914 she published a large number of magazine articles on social issues, which appeared in SPD and trade union magazines such as The Equality and The New Time, as well as several books and book articles. She translated basic contributions from English social policy-learners into German. In 1905 Simon published the first German-language biography of the British social officer Robert Owen. The book was the result of her work in England and is still regarded as a standard work on Owen. She published further biographies of William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Elisabeth Gnauck-Kühne and Albert Levy. In 1904 she gave a presentation at the International Women's Congress in Berlin on workers' protection laws. In 1911 she was a member of the Committee of the Society for Social Reform. During the First World War, she became a full-time member of the Executive Labour Committee of the "War Survivors and Damaged Care", the only time she stood as an employee in her professional life. She was a functionary in the National Women's Service. With Ernst Francke she published the magazine Social War Survivors' Care since January 1917. After the war she became a member of the SPD in 1919 and worked again as a freelance writer. She was instrumental in the development of the Workers' Welfare And its welfare school, founded by Marie Juchacz in 1919. In 1922 she was honored as an honorary doctor of the University of Heidelberg. Her last publication was in 1932. After the transfer of power to the National Socialists in 1933, she remained in Germany until 1938, condemned to speechlessness, until she was forced to emigrate to England with her sister Klara Reichmann after the Reichspogromnacht. Her niece Frieda Fromm-Reichmann had already emigrated in 1933.
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